Breaking down the top prospects in the Chicago Cubs organization

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 27: The main scoreboard in centerfield is seen after a game between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 27, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 27: The main scoreboard in centerfield is seen after a game between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 27, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Riley Thompson, RHP – No.11

To round out the first part of this series is right-handed pitcher Riley Thompson. Thompson was one of the most fun prospects in the Cubs’ pipeline in 2019 and could force his way into the organization’s top ten by the end of next year.

An 11th round pick by the Cubs in 2018, Thompson found his groove this year. Beginning his career at Eugene, Thompson quickly showcased his ability for the Cubs and why waiting 11 rounds was foolish. Making eight starts and nine total appearances in his first year, Thompson finished with a 2.84 ERA. He failed to record a win, however wins don’t matter, and that is not what made him impressive.

Not a big strikeout guy or at least not yet, Thompson posted a 22.9 percent strikeout rate along with an 8.3 percent walk rate in 2018. He pitched to nearly the same numbers for South Bend this year, carrying a 22.3 percent strikeout percentage and 7.9 percent walk rate, through 21 starts.

The 23-year-old right-hander finished his season at South Bend with a 3.06 ERA. He decreased his xFIP from 3.84 last season to 3.59 this year, which is a significant step in the right direction. The best stretch for Thompson came at the end of the year in which he made two consecutive scoreless starts. Over those two games, he allowed only four hits and struck out nine.

Joe Espada could be perfect fit for the Cubs. dark. Next

Realistically, there is a good chance Thompson starts 2020 in Tennessee. He will be 24 years old, and if the team can continue to develop him and keep him healthy, he should blossom into a very nice starter in the future.

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